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MediaTek Redefines Premium Phones

February 9, 2021

Author: Aakash Jani

When is a premium phone not a flagship? MediaTek’s newest high-end smartphone processors offer many premium features but don’t match the performance of the top flagship products from Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung. The Dimensity 1100 and 1200 instead target an emerging class of devices for customers who want a great smartphone but don’t want to blow $1,000 on it. The new products instead target phones selling for $400 to $800. Vendors such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi have expressed enthusiasm about the new chips. Redmi announced its intention to integrate the D1200 in its first gaming phone.

The Dimensity 1200 delivers industry-leading multicore CPU performance, supporting intensive background applications without lag. It also boasts a plethora of new AI-based capabilities, targeting a feature-driven market. Relative to its predecessor, the new chip adds an overclocked prime core and upgraded GPU. The D1200 also supports a higher-resolution camera as well as frame-by-frame upscaling from standard definition to HD. The D1100 shares much of its basic design but offers lower performance. Phones using the new chips are expected to ship in 1H21.

Moving down the stack, MediaTek also announced the midrange Dimensity 700, which replaces the Dimensity 720, as Figure 1 shows. The D700 suits the burgeoning midrange 5G segment, targeting $200–$300 phones. It has two overclocked Cortex-A76s that offer 10% greater single-core performance and a modest 6% greater multicore performance than the D720. The new processor sports two Mali-G57 shader cores—one less than its predecessor, thereby decreasing cost. It carries a lower price as well, further stratifying the low-cost market. Oppo revealed that its new A55 phone (not to be confused with Arm’s Cortex-A55) will employ the D700. We expect these phones to ship in 1Q21.

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